Common problem to have the bed realigned a few months after purchace? Does that make it O.K.? Sounds like you should have bought a Tundra :)
Oh boy - the almighty Tundra, here we go again. Yeah the bed never has to be re-aligned on a Tundra because no one ever puts anything in the bed to take it out of alignment. I drive an 02 F150 delivering parts for a Ford dealership. It has the 8ft bed with only a 4.2L V6, yet the engine has 254,000 miles on it and I still drive it 200+ miles a day and it never fails to start and runs acceptionally well for such an overworked engine. Frame is very solid - not all "flexy" and squishy like the "Japanese truck" mentioned above. That's where they get their smooth ride - thin frame with few poorly attached cross-members so the rails sway and flex back and forth to go over bumps - not to mention three leaf springs and never anymore than three. Not very "truckish" at all. The Ford on the other hand drives very well while at the same time has large front control arms and coils and three inch wide leaf springs. They've done their homework on these designs. You can get 500 miles to a tank of regular on this truck, too. All-in-all not bad.
This is an update on the Jan 1, 2007 comment. My delivery truck is actually a 2001, big diff! I now have 290,300 miles on the truck and the engines keeps on rollin'.
I have an 02 with the 4.2L V6 with 64,000 miles on it. I've had to replace the manifold gasket (over a grand), and now my manual tranny is going out and needs 100% replacement as told by the dealer shop (over a grand). I have to literally jam it into gear when going for first or reverse. I hate this truck and want to get rid of it. I bad mouth Ford to anyone that asks, but my fathers 2000 S-10 is way way worse than mine. I want to be a Toyota man.
I have a 2002 F-150 4x4 XLT. It has 89,000 miles on it and has been a great truck.
The only problem I have had is the slave cylinder went out and the transmission had to be pulled out in order to replace it. That really sucks because a $40.00 part cost me almost $600.00 to get fixed. I went ahead and put a new clutch, pressure plate and rear main seal and a pilot bearing too while it was tore down.
Other than that, it's been really great. It has the 4.2L V6 engine, which is a great engine. It has plenty of power and pulls and climbs really well.
The gas mileage is average. It gets around 17 in town and around 19 to 20 on the hwy. Overall I love the body style and everything about it.
I have a 2002 Supercab and do my own maintenance. I have driven the truck all over the U.S. as I am recently retired Military. I have put a cold air intake on it, throttle body spacer, tune up yearly Bosch 2's, only Gates belts and hoses.
It has been a great truck; I realize a lot of people love Chevy's, I'm just not one of them. I have seen many soldiers buy Chevy trucks, only to be disappointed in them. If you do preventive maintenance on an F-150, it will give you good service.
Update: I now have 124,000 on this pickup and it is still running strong! I have installed new IMRC bushings and a set of plenum seals and isolator bolts to take care of the lean condition on bank two! I did the job myself and it cost around 120.00 dollars.
I have owned this truck since April 2006. I would not hesitate to take off on a road trip in a second. It is my daily driver and I really do enjoy driving it still. I used to want the V8, but after hearing all the troubles of blowing spark plugs and such, I am glad I have the V6. I have read that the V6 runs a long time, and have heard of some people getting upwards of 300,000 miles out of them! I know a lot of that depends on how they are taken care of.
If you are looking for a good dependable truck, I would recommend this truck. This is just my opinion.